Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
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Iron(III) oxide-hydroxide or ferric oxyhydroxide is the chemical compound of iron, oxygen, and hydrogen with formula FeO(OH).
The compound is often encountered as one of its hydrates, FeO(OH)·nH 2O [rust]. The monohydrate FeO(OH)·H 2O (CAS 51274-00-1, C.I. 77492) is often referred to as iron(III) hydroxideFe(OH) 3, hydrated iron oxide, yellow iron oxide, or Pigment Yellow 42.
Anhydrous ferric hydroxide occurs in the nature as the exceedingly rare mineral bernalite, Fe(OH)3·nH2O (n=0.0-0.25). Iron oxyhydroxides, FeOOH, are much more common and occur naturally as structurally different minerals (polymorphs) denoted by the Greek letters α, β, γ and δ.
Goethite, α-FeO(OH), has been used as an ocher pigment since prehistoric times.
Akaganeite is the β polymorph, formed by weathering and noted for its presence in some meteorites and the lunar surface. However, recently it has been determined that it must contain some chloride ions to stabilize its structure, so that its more accurate formula is FeO 0.833(OH) 1.167Cl 0.167 or Fe 6O 5(OH) 7Cl.
Lepidocrocite, the γ polymorph, is commonly encountered as rust on the inside of steel water pipes and tanks.
Feroxyhyte (δ) is formed under the high pressure conditions of sea and ocean floors, being thermodynamically unstable with respect to the α polymorph (goethite) at surface conditions.
The color of iron(III) oxyhydroxide ranges from yellow through dark-brown to black, depending on the degree of hydration, particle size and shape, and crystal structure.
The crystal structure of β-FeOOH (akaganeite) is that of hollandite or BaMn 8O 16. The unit cell is tetragonal with a=1.048 and c=0.3023 nm, and contains eight formula units of FeOOH. Its dimensions are about 500 × 50 × 50 nm. Twinning often produces particles with the shape of hexagonal stars. 
On heating, β-FeOOH decomposes and recrystallizes as α-Fe 2O 3 (hematite).
Limonite, a mixture of various hydrates and polymorphs of ferric oxyhydroxide, is one of the three major iron ores, having been used since at least 2500 BC.
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^Dan Li, Xiaohui Wang, Gang Xiong, Lude Lu, Xujie Yang and Xin Wang (1997): "A novel technique to prepare ultrafine Fe 2O 3 via hydrated iron(III) nitrate". Journal of Materials Science Letters volume 16, pages 493–495 doi:10.1023/A:1018528713566
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